A good friend of mine is expecting her first child; it’s a boy! I was delighted when she asked me to help design window treatments for the pirate-themed nursery; we had a blast coming up with creative solutions. For example, we used a vintage rowboat oar for the curtain rod and found sail cloth fabric with little pirate ships on it. For function (and Mommy’s future sanity), we installed a blackout shade that is hidden by the decorative treatment, but can be pulled down to create the darkness necessary for nap time.
As I helped my friend create this space, I realized that decorating a newborn baby’s nursery, in many ways, makes the idea of having a baby seem real. How inspiring to know we were creating a space where this new child will rest, play and grow. It’s easy (and fun) to get caught up in the paint colors and crib choices, but make sure you don’t neglect the windows. In the case of a nursery, the right window treatment can transform the space and even help protect your baby’s well-being. So to help you make sound choices, here are some tips on giving your baby the best:
Do: Choose a Style or Theme. Window treatments are a great way to incorporate or accent a theme in the room. Drapes with an animal print over grass cloth blackout shades are a perfect treatment for a safari theme. Or how about a surfboard-shaped cornice for that future surfer? Keep your window treatments short and simple. Your little one won’t be little forever, and long curtains and blinds are just asking to be grabbed and pulled. The great news is: compared to other decorative elements like wallpaper or murals, window treatments are much easier to switch out when your little one is big enough to make independent design choices.
Do: Use Blackout Shades. As every new parent knows, sleep is a precious resource. To ensure that both baby (and you) get as much sleep as possible, keep that nursery dark during nap time and in the early morning. One great option is the Comfortex SlumberShade. SlumberShades combine energy efficient blackout cellular shades with a light blocking sidetrack to create a perfectly dark room. They also come with a cordless operating system, ensuring total safety for your infant. If you haven’t looked at blackout window treatments in a while, you may be surprised by your options.
Do: Childproof All Blinds and Shades. Blinds and shades are great choices for a nursery. They allow you to control light, maintain room temperature and create privacy with the pull of a cord. Cords, however, can be a strangulation hazard for small children. The first rule is to never put a crib directly below a window with a corded window treatment. If you do have cords on your window coverings, make sure you install a breakaway device, which snaps in half when enough pressure is applied. Most modern window coverings come with this device already installed. Your best option? Consider cordless or remote control-operated solutions to guarantee your little one's safety.
Do: Ensure All Window Treatments Are Properly Installed. When time is of the essence, you might find yourself quickly “yanking” up the blind or shade. Since blinds can be dangerous if they are pulled from the wall, make sure your window coverings are properly installed. Always secure them to a wall stud or header and never mount into sheetrock without using a proper wall anchor. For best results, make sure you use a professional, experienced installer.
So let your imagination run wild. Enjoy creating this space for your new child to experience his or her first looks at color, pattern, textures and light. And after you’ve considered function and safety, have fun decorating a happy, creative, inspiring nursery.
Fred Kumpel is the owner of Strickland’s Window Coverings and Carolina Closet Company. Fred has over 30 years of experience in the industry. Strickland’s Window Coverings is a window treatment design center specializing in custom blinds, shades, shutters and fabric treatments for over 70 years. Carolina Closet Company provides professionally designed and custom built organization solutions. Its complete line of home organization solutions includes unique solutions to organize closets, pantries, garages, basements, laundry rooms as well as Murphy Beds. To learn more about our company, visit www.stricklandswindowcoverings.com and www.closetsbythesea.com. Fred can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 910.762.0944.